By Henry Umoru & Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA — A new political party, Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance, APDA, promoted by some kingpins of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was unveiled, yesterday, in Abuja.
The Senator Ali Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee, NCC, which had in the past been alleged to have been promoting APDA among others as an alternative platform should it lose the pending court case, however, immediately distanced itself and the PDP from the new party.
The party was birthed with the promise of projecting an egalitarian democracy, internal democracy in its activities and ultimately sacking the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
Among the PDP bigwigs spotted at the unveiling, yesterday, was broadcast mogul, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, who was an aspirant for the national chairmanship of the PDP in 2016. However, many PDP bigwigs previously linked with the party stayed away from the launch and were believed to have monitored the event.
However, prominent in their presence, yesterday, were former national chairman of Labour Party, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu; former national chairman of Republican Party, Alhaji Shittu Mohammed, who was announced as the national chairman of the new party.
The new party has as its slogan “Stronger Together.”
Speaking yesterday, Nwanyanwu said the party was formed to give Nigeria a truly progressive party in the face of what he claimed was the dominance of reactionary persons in some self-styled progressive parties.
Welcoming dignitaries yesterday, the interim National Chairman, Mohammed, promised that the party would give the nation a new beginning if it wins the presidency in 2019 saying that the party would reserve 25 per cent of elective positions in the party for youths.
Makarfi-led NCC distances self
Denying any connection with the new party, spokesman of the Makarfi-led NCC of the PDP said: “For the avoidance of doubt, we reiterate once again that we are not in any way associated with the new party in any form or guise. The APDA is neither an offshoot of the PDP nor its alter ego as some are speculating.”
“This statement is made purely to set the records straight and to avoid unnecessary innuendos ,speculations and ambiguity that may threaten the continued unity and solidarity of our party members.
“We thank millions of well meaning Nigerians for their concern and commitment to the defence of our nascent democracy. In the end this democracy cannot survive without a strong and vibrant opposition,” the statement read.